Connector and Cable Genders Explained
It's always been a bone of contention, is that connector a male or a female one ? Well I'll try and explain, the difference between Male and Female connectors is simple. Just like people the Male has a sticking out “pin” which he plugs into something. The Females on the other hand have a “hole” in which to receive something, usually a “pin”!
So using that as my standard, for molex crimps and connectors
Similarly for ATX and PCI crimps and connectors, using a 6 Pin connector as an example
Some supplies and manufacturers describe their products with the genders reversed, and I've even seen some web sites describe a connector as male with female crimps!
See also the following wiring documents here on this site
ATX 4 pin wiring
PCI 6 pin wiring
PCI 8 pin wiring
ATX 24 pin wiring
3 and 4 Pin Fan wiring
Now for cables, how can you tell if a cable is male or female? Well using the following
A male connector is commonly referred to as a plug and has a solid pin for a centre conductor. A female connector is commonly referred to as a jack and has a centre conductor with a hole in it to accept the male pin. So just like the crimps described above.
Here is a link to a short video that explains it fully - enjoy !
Extension cables, on the other hand, are always male to female (M/F), one end of the cable has a female port, allowing you to link a second cable.
So for example what is the difference between male and female USB?
The female connector (receptacle) is typically embedded into a device while the male connector (plug) is generally free-hanging so it can be placed on the end of a cable assembly for two or more devices to be interconnected at a time.